Cyberwanderer’s Blog

August 30, 2010

Harper Contributed to Steep Increase in Unemployment

Filed under: Canada,Politics — cyberwanderer @ 12:13 am
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Harper’s policy have contributed to the steep rise in unemployment numbers. July numbers showed an unexpected loss of 139,000 full time jobs according to Statistics Canada, the department responsible for census and keeping track of vital benchmark information like job numbers. Without them how do we measure our government’s performance. With expected increase in EI claims, Harper then went on to cut the department that is expected to be busy as they process the increased EI claims. Harper cut 1,200 Service Canada jobs leading to possible delay and increased wait times not only for those claiming EI but also retiree waiting for their pensions.

There could have been more jobs created have it not for some of Harper’s policy. Part of Ontario’s stimulus plan was to build a new Nuclear plant to meet its electricity demand once our economy recover. They were set to award it to the Crown corporation AECL, which is also based in Ontario. But Harper’s campaign to sell AECL to private company put that plan on hold. Harper’s staff even went on smear campaign against AECL claiming it is a sinkhole since billions of dollars have been spent throughout AECL’s history. Perhaps Harper needs to be reminded that AECL have half a century of history and was a prominent and independent scientific institution attracting top scientist around the world. NASA have to consult AECL for assistance in figuring out the cause of the space shuttle crash. Research done at AECL goes beyond Nuclear.

While Harper whine about spending billions for scientific research, he so easily spent billions for a weekend of photo ops in Toronto’s Summit. He so readily spent billions on fighter jet that would have limited use against Afghan guerrilla, benefiting only U.S. weapon manufacturer. Meanwhile, job losses mounts as Harper pursue a lobbyist friendly policy of handing over our Crown corporation to either a foreign government owned or subsidized company, or private corporations. If there’s any failure on AECL part, it is due to constant political tinkering with the Crown corporation. Mulroney sell off all profit to be had from medical isotope production to private company MDS Nordion, leaving AECL to produce the isotope for others to profit. The contract is so lopsided you would think the government of that day was working for private company rather than taxpayers, who are the real owner of the Crown corporation. Now Harper is picking up where Mulroney left off by selling the only profitable division of AECL. All this at a time of expected nuclear renaissance when various government are heavily investing in their equivalent nuclear agency. Even Cambodia is considering building a Nuclear Plant.

All this uncertainty created by Harper has resulted in thousands of job losses in Ontario, and even more from lost job opportunities that would have helped our economy. Hydro Quebec recently delayed planned work on its nuclear reactor due to Harper’s attempt to sell AECL. This put a further chill on the job market. An audit is needed to investigate and ensure taxpayer’s are not shortchanged as Harper charge ahead on selling off our nuclear future in a very secretive process. The banker appointed by Harper to oversee AECL’s sell has close connection to French government owned Areva. An independent audit like one from Sheila Fraser might be needed to clear up any possibility of corruption and under the table deals.

A good read is an article from Montreal Gazette: Going the wrong way on isotopes, reactors.


July 29, 2010

Harper’s Government Continue to Manufacture Crisis

Filed under: Canada,Politics — cyberwanderer @ 8:37 pm
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Harper continue to manufacture crisis acting as if Canadian privacy was at risk with the mandatory census. Without census, future government would still need to gather data to get an idea about areas that needs attention. Globe and Mail have a good article about how the alternative could look like, citing European mandatory citizen registry that does not have the same strict privacy restriction that is in place on our census right now. So it is baffling that this government can say either ignorantly or lying blatantly that the current census violate Canadian privacy. This coming from a government who have no problem digging through government record to identify the Jews and sent them holiday greeting in an attempt to get their vote.

This is just one of the many crisis manufactured by Harper. First he moved to give up our energy independence by putting AECL on the block claiming millions have to be spent and the company is dysfunctional. Areva, the French company rumored to be the likely buyer of AECL have lots of cost overrun also and worse – have safety records that are being questioned. (read NY Times Special Report on U.S. government concern about Areva’s Safety). And Harper bundled watering down environmental assessment in the budget bill that also allows him to sell off AECL and Canada Post International service without scrutiny. This is the same guy who fired Linda Keen of CNSC compromising that agency’s independence and reputation when it comes to nuclear environment and safety issues. With his new power to water down environmental assessment, would he even blink an eye in pressuring CNSC to take it easy on new AECL owner to make the deal even better for them? While Harper complained about having to give millions to keep our crown company, he so easily spent billions of dollars on G20 summit for fence, fake lakes and stubbornly insisting on holding it in the heart of downtown Toronto against the wishes of Toronto’s Mayor and police. The exhibition place was touted as a more ideal location that will be less of a security nightmare. He so easily spent about $16 billions on fighting jet which have limited use in fighting insurgents in Afghanistan. So what lobbyist is involved in this deal this time? Areva’s lobbyist apparently stop all their lobbying after Harper appointed their banker to take care of AECL sell. This government obviously see fit to waste billions of dollars at a time of economic difficulty. The scared-of-election Liberal opposition just keep letting damaging Harper’s bill pass. It just makes Harper bolder and bolder acting more like a dictator than the Prime Minister of a democratic country.

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